best bed: Villa d’Este, Lake Como, Italy
Grand, elegant, lush. Villa d’Este is a WOW! And has been for 150 years, the hotel celebrates this milestone all year. This magnificent villa began life as the summer residence for the very wealthy Cardinal of Como. When he died his family let things fall apart. Luckily later owners, including a ballerina, one of Napoleon’s Generals, a Russian Empress and Queen Caroline of England, all poured money into the villa when they owned. The result is a palace filled with grand staircases, Murano chandeliers and stunning works of art sitting within a 25-acre private park. Edith Wharton came to admire these stately gardens complete with multiple fountains, terraces, cleverly carved topiary and a mock fortification from the 19ty century built to amuse the General. Villa d’Este became a hotel in 1873. It has been renowned for luxury, old world glamour and attracting the glitterati ever since. Hitchcock made his first film, ‘The Pleasure Garden” on the grounds. Mark Twain, Greta Garbo, King Leopold of Belgium were early fans. Elizabeth Taylor, Clark Gable and Madonna have all been charmed by the unique rooms. While the Clooney’s are said to frequent the Grill regularly. Expect large rooms with plush décor, incredible service from the long-term staff and to feel like part of history. I have stayed several times…always magic!
Number of Rooms: 152 rooms & suites; 4 private villas
Sweet Suite: The Cardinal Suite on the first floor of the Cardinal building was named after, no surprise…the Cardinal who first built a house on the property. It is enormous, with mile high ceilings but it is the grand private terrace with the most spectacular views you can imagine that make this suite stand out.
Favorite Thing: The Villa Cima…built in 1815 but Caroline of Brunswick, aka the Princess of Wales and kinda Queen of England (her husband George IV hate her and wouldn’t let her get coronated) to host the Count and Countess Pino who once owned the main villa and were coming to visit. Now it is a wonderful four-bedroom private villa spread over 3 floors loaded with balconies, a private terrace and views, views, views. It sits a little off the side right on the edge of the Lake. Staying her is magic
Near By: Well, the Lake, the town of Como and lots of other very charming Italian towns, but actually you'll never want to leave the hotel. It really has everything.
Amenities: iconic over the water pool, Golf Club, 4 restaurants including “La Veranda” (the one you see in all the photos), indoor swimming pool, gym, tennis courts, squash courts, kids pool, putting green, walking trails, waterskiing, boat rentals, charging station for electric boats, boutique
Villa d'Este is a Virtuoso property...book with WLT to get special amenities and VIP treatment